Lead Demand of Future Vehicle Technologies

Changes in battery technology for hybrid or fuel cell vehicles will have significant impacts on US lead flows. Hybrid vehicles contain lead-acid batteries as auxiliary power sources although these lead-acid batteries may be replaced in the future. Given the importance of lead-acid battery recycling to US lead flows, changes in battery-related lead demand could alter the domestic production of lead and affect lead releases to the environment, particularly to air and land. We investigate lead demand for various prospective changes in the US automotive fleet. These include the complete replacement of lead-acid batteries from vehicles (such as next-generation hybrid electric vehicles or use of alternative batteries) or the introduction of micro-hybrid vehicles (lead battery pack vehicles). A dynamic model is described and used to examine the immediate and long-term lead flow patterns, and the associated lead emissions. We conclude that the adoption of non-lead-acid hybrid vehicles does not result in the lead market collapsing unless there is rapid introduction of these vehicles to the fleet, 50% by 2007. A 10% increase in micro-hybrid (battery pack) vehicles results in a predicted increase of 26 tons of lead emissions over the status quo or a 6% increase over 2004 Toxics Release Inventory releases from mining, primary smelting, and secondary smelting.


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  • Accession Number: 01049686
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 25 2007 3:06PM